My mother has instilled in me a strong Christian background that has helped me deal with the difficult times in life, as well as enjoy the many blessings that come my way. I know from my mother's example that prayer is important and we should always put God first in our lives.
From my father, I have learned the value of hard work and having a strong work ethic that has led me throughout my career. I have also learned the importance of family and always sticking together in good times and bad times.
From my sister, I have learned to slow down and enjoy life and take time to laugh which is important as you get older and the stresses seem to increase. Amanda, her husband and her two boys continue to provide lots of laughter and happiness.
As the time of year for Thanksgiving draws near, it is the lessons that I have learned from those around me that I find myself being so very thankful for. It's too easy to take those closest to us for granted but we should never do that. Family is so important and I am thankful for my loved ones.
In addition to the important things such as family and health, I am also thankful for so many other little things that can brighten my day and make me smile. Things like a dog wagging his tail or a cat curling up in my lap; a warm house to relax in after a day at work; my mother's homemade biscuits and wonderful Southern cooking; a car that starts; visiting places I've never been before; good friends; a job to go to every day; enough money to get by; new books; trying new food and waking up every day to see what adventures are ahead.
This time of year, make more of an effort to count our blessings. Let's start doing it year-round. We all have many blessings in our life to thank God for every day.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at AngieEditor@aol.com.